Category archives for Sport and Livelihoods

Preparing for long-term success: Sport for Development’s strategies during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Every individual across the globe has been, and continues to be, impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Sport for Development (SfD) is a field of work that relies predominantly on in-person, face-to-face, high contact programming. SfD’s work, therefore, was significantly strained due to social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders. This study compiled interviews with administrators in 10 South African based SfD organizations, assessing how they innovated and adjusted to the pandemic, as well as which strategies best helped them successfully manage change. Major findings include a need for collaboration among SfD organizations, a strong focus on creativity and innovation in the field, and a need for organizations to balance structure and flexibility to allow responsiveness to changing needs. These strategies should be integrated as a focus within SfD beyond the pandemic, as they are long-term success strategies that will allow SfD organizations to be prepared for future pivotal decision points in their lifespans.

The influence of peers on life skill development and transfer in a sport-based positive youth development program

Sport-based positive youth development (PYD) programs are recognized as important contexts for promoting life skill development and transfer, especially among socially vulnerable youth. Past research has examined the role of social agents (e.g., coaches, staff, parents) in life skill development and transfer. Although peers are identified as a critical social agent in sport-based PYD contexts, little English-speaking literature has examined the influence of peers on youth’s life skill outcomes. This study examines multiple peer influences contributing to life skill outcomes among 483 youth involved in a sport-based PYD program. Cohen’s d demonstrated improved self-control, effort, teamwork, social competence, and transfer of learning outcomes from pre- to post-program. Using a series of hierarchical linear regression models, results demonstrate the degree of life skills among peers in one’s group, the youth’s relative life skills within their group, and the number of friends in one’s group predicted life skills scores at posttest after controlling for pretest scores and demographics. These findings point to the importance of peers as significant social influences contributing to youth’s life skill outcomes in a sport-based PYD program. Sport practitioners can intentionally promote youth development through facilitated group processing, optimal peer group composition, and autonomy supportive staff practices.

“It makes me want to take more steps”: Racially and economically marginalized youth experiences with and perceptions of Fitbit Zips® in a sport-based youth development program

Healthy and high levels of physical activity can positively impact youth development, physiological and psychosocial well-being, academic performance, and reduce the risks of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic illnesses. Various health and physical activity interventions have started to engage with wearable technologies (e.g., Fitbit®) to objectively measure and manage levels of physical activity, for both academics and practitioners alike. The purpose of this study is to explore the potential utility of digital activity trackers, and the subsequent experiences of wearing such devices, toward increased engagement with physical activity among racially and economically marginalized youth. To this end, we had 20 youth of color wear a Fitbit Zip® over a 23-week period during their participation in a sport-based youth development program. At the conclusion of 23 weeks, 17 of the students reflected on their experiences by taking part in one of three focus groups. The participants shared predominantly positive experiences with and attitudes toward the devices. While there were some sentiments of indifference, most participants acknowledged increased levels of physical activity and awareness of the resultant health benefits. These results further highlight the potential value of integrating digital activity trackers in sport-based youth development programming and stress the importance of culturally appropriate expectations and training.

An examination of an Aotearoa/New Zealand plus-sport education partnership using livelihoods and capital analysis

Education is regarded as a human right and fundamental to achieving other human rights, such as decent work. Education is essential for developing human potential, and it can help address growing social and economic inequality. However, for many Indigenous populations in the global North, realizing their fullest potential thorough mainstream education is mired with difficulties, and this has had serious implications for employability and livelihoods creation. This paper presents research undertaken in Aotearoa/New Zealand (NZ) where the Taranaki Rugby Football Union (TRFU) has partnered with local education provider Feats to establish the Māori and Pasifika Rugby Academy (MPRA). The purpose of the partnership is to provide an alternative education pathway to increase livelihoods opportunities. Undertaking a capital and livelihoods analysis of the TRFU and Feats partnership has allowed us to see more clearly different aspects of the MPRA program and bring to the fore other features of the learners’ journeys. While the building of human capital through education is important, of greater significance is the cultural and psychological capital that is built through program attendance.

CrossFit partner work: Strength building for SDP

This article provides recommendations for Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) practitioners focused on improving participants’ livelihoods. Practitioners should consider developing programs specifically for previously incarcerated persons that utilize CrossFit or similar fitness-based methods with thoughtful partnerships. Though returning citizens have complicated challenges reentering the job market, fitness-based programs may offer employment opportunities. CrossFit is large, growing, and has low barriers to entry. It supplies the additional benefits of physical activity, a supportive community, and the ability to be replicated easily in different contexts. Grounded in the example of UliftU in Pennsylvania, USA, and its partners, this article highlights an unexplored avenue for SDP programs. The article identifies lessons learned concerning client populations and partnerships and suggests avenues for further study.

Exploring migrant families’ acculturation and livelihoods in Canada and the role of sport participation

Canada is poised to increase the number of migrants arriving annually. Growing attention is being directed toward how sport can be managed in a way that is accessible and inclusive of immigrant populations, as well as how sport can foster new opportunities for migrants to develop connections within their communities. The objectives of this research were to explore broadly the realities of the migrant settlement experience and migrants’ livelihoods in Toronto and the role sport had on these experiences. Using an exploratory case study methodology, this paper explores the participants’ strategies of acculturation and the implications of these strategies for developing social and cultural capital. Youth sport programming is discussed as having little effect on the financial capacities and livelihoods of migrants. As illustrated within this paper, sport has the ability to facilitate crosscultural relationships and influence acculturation strategies. However, sport-specific cultural capital produced asymmetries in the outcomes of sport participation. While sport may serve a role in developing social outcomes, efforts to improve the access of migrants to employment opportunities within their field of experience, either within or outside of sport contexts, are required to positively affect the livelihoods of migrants.

A comprehensive sport for development strategy using collaborative partnerships to facilitate employment among youth facing barriers

The collaborative development and delivery of “plus sport” employment training programs are promising strategies to increase work readiness, life skills, and employment among youth facing barriers to positive development in a North American urban context. Three programs developed and delivered at MLSE LaunchPad, a large urban sport for development facility in Toronto, Canada, provide a precedent for further implementation and study of collaborative programs that incorporate intentionally designed sport activities into a youth employment program. Strategic codevelopment and codelivery of “plus sport” programs with collaborative community partners and a mixed funding model involving professional sport organizations, charitable foundations, corporate partners, individual donors, and various levels of government are recommended to maximize sustainability and impact. Learnings to date at MLSE LaunchPad point to several key programming components for the successful delivery of youth sport for development employment training in a context of high youth unemployment rates disproportionately impacting youth facing barriers and a rapidly evolving job market.

Decolonisation in practice: A case study of the Kicking AIDS Out programme in Jamaica

Similar to traditional development, neo-colonial tendencies are apparent in the sport-for-development and peace (SDP) movement. As a result, a large majority of SDP scholars perceive the notion of ‘decolonisation’ as displacing the antecedents of colonialism. SDP scholars are advocating for a postcolonial approach to future SDP initiatives that will help decolonise the structures of hegemony that are in place. Although the authors of this article agree with these sentiments (and many more), and that the cause is justified, we however postulate that the postcolonial critique presented only offers an early foundation from which to decolonise SDP. Therefore, to build upon these foundations, there is a need for a methodological approach to guide critical engagement in SDP policy and research. Thus we propose the critical-participatory-paradigm (CPP) for consideration in this regard, using Darnell & Hayhurst’s1 points that the time is ripe to pursue a decolonising process that challenges structural inequalities. Through a qualitative evaluation research study of the Jamaican Kicking-AIDS-Out programme, we highlight how the CPP provides an alternative philosophical and methodological framework for decolonisation. Even though decolonisation is not instant, the principles of the CPP resulted in certain principles that could be followed allowing for consciousness raising and the enhancement of control in the research process by all vested interests.

A systematic overview of sport for development and peace organisations

The boundaries of Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) encompass many stakeholders attempting to leverage sport for achieving various development outcomes. This has attracted researchers to systematically review the SDP literature during recent years. What remains largely unknown, however, is where SDP organisations are located, what these efforts are focused upon, and the sport and physical activities used to deliver such programming. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to review SDP practice and provide an overview of the current state of the field. A total of 955 entities involved in SDP grassroots practice were identified based on a systematic review of 3,138 organisational entries in SDP databases. The majority of organisations operate programmes in Africa, but hundreds of entities are also found across Europe, North America, Asia, and Latin America. Of these, more than 80% are headquartered within the same region. Education, Livelihoods, and Health emerged as the most common thematic areas, while Disability and Gender were the least represented. A total of 32 types of sports were identified, with one-third relying solely on football. Implications of these findings for SDP practice and research are further discussed.

A programme evaluation of ‘Exploring Our Strengths and Our Future’: Making sport relevant to the educational, social, and emotional needs of youth

Community violence negatively impacts the educational, social, and emotional needs of youth, particularly those living in under-resourced communities. Social and environmental influences can help youth develop resilience to this pervasive, destructive cycle of community violence. A particularly effective approach is programming that fosters positive youth development (PYD), which prepares youth to successfully adapt and function in the midst of ongoing stress and adversity such as community violence. This study examined Exploring Our Strengths and Our Future, a sport-based PYD programme empowering middle school youth to engage in their own strength-based, holistic development through sport, with a particular focus on education and career exploration and development. The purpose of this study was to examine connections between participant outcomes and programme implementation of this sport-based PYD programme, which used the Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility (TPSR) model. This programme was evaluated through multiple methods, including observational field notes, interviews, and written reflections that were analysed with deductive and inductive analysis strategies. Results suggested that meaningful life skills were learned and transferred to other domains. This was accomplished through an intentional programme climate (e.g., youth-centred philosophy, and task-oriented climate), effective leader and mentor strategies (e.g., relationships and engagement), and valuable campus visits.

“Leadership and empowerment through sport”: The intentions, hopes, ambitions and reality of creating a sport-for-development organisation in Cape Town

David Meir1 1 University Centre Blackburn College, School of Health, Science and Technology, UK Citation: Meir, D. “Leadership and empowerment through sport”: The intentions, hopes, ambitions and reality of creating a sport-for-development organisation in Cape Town. Journal of Sport for Development. 2017; 5(8): 19-29. Download article as PDF ABSTRACT Leadership and Empowerment through Sport (LETS) […]

Volume 2, Issue 3 published

Publication of Volume 2, Issue 3 The Journal of Sport for Development (JSFD) is pleased to announce the publication of its third issue. Please click here to download the full PDF of the issue. JSFD’s mission is to advance, examine and disseminate evidence and best practices for programs and interventions that use sport to promote […]

Volume 1, Issue 2 published

Publication of Volume 1, Issue 2 The Journal of Sport for Development (JSFD) is pleased to announce the publication of its fourth issue. Click here to download a full PDF of Issue 2 JSFD’s mission is to advance, examine and disseminate evidence and best practices for programs and interventions that use sport to promote development, […]

Sport and crime prevention: Individuality and transferability in research

Researchers have examined sport practices as a means of crime prevention. The article reviews the international body of literature on this subject from a social constructionist perspective. By exploring the idea of sport as a means of crime prevention, the article considers what is described on the subject and how these descriptions are articulated. Through a content analysis, the article aims to develop categories and provide an analytical discussion of the findings…

Volume 1, Issue 1 published

Publication of Volume 1, Issue 1 The Journal of Sport for Development (JSFD) is pleased to announce the publication of its first Issue. JSFD is the first peer-reviewed, open-access journal devoted to exclusively publishing research from the field of Sport for Development (SFD). The journal was developed in response to a need to establish a […]

GIZ/YDF and youth as drivers of Sport for Development in the African context

The 2010 FIFA World Cup attracted key development agencies to the African continent such as GIZ which created a Youth Development through Football (YDF) programme for implementation in ten African countries. A social impact assessment conducted in 2011 revealed changes at the overall objective level. The S•DIAT (Sport-in-Development Impact Assessment Tool) was utilised which followed a pre-post comparative design […]